Friday, December 19, 2008

Spoiler

Friends.

Last night? Was a rough one.

Dr. Matron had a long night. She closed out her Thursday night class. She learned how to slide in and out of the front seat belt -- in boots and bulky jacket at 3 degrees---without unbuckling said seat belt because it is broken. She carried around her equally kerplunked laptop, wishing and praying for it to reboot (sometimes it does).

So she gets home, weary.

There, Stryker is completely blissed out! Dog-sitting, shoveling and general house babysitting mean that child earned $150 for upcoming work. Money he had in his hand! Hooray!!

He had big plans for that bonus. He was going to buy the first thing on his Christmas wish list -- a Nintendo Virtual Boy -- the original Papa to Game Boy and all things gamey. These are vintage, folks, and nearly impossible to find.

But wait! He found one on e-Bay! For just $27!!

That child begged and pleaded to make the purchase. Remember, it is now 10 pm at night. But his parents put down their respective feet -- no purchases for one's self until after Christmas.

He refused to cease and desist. Indeed, he started raging. Yelling. He's heading the corner to his 13th birthday and he acted just about like you might imagine. Then, he informed the Matron that his plan was to be as OBNOXIOUS as possible and beg and hurl insults until the parents gave in. The other two children blinked, collatoral damage. Merrick couldn't sleep.

So this is what the Matron said. She gave this some thought; this was not off the cuff and she said it (fairly) calmly.

Matron: "Stryker. The reason we're saying no is that this is your Christmas gift from us. I spent 4 hours tracking one down, driving around to the northern suburbs and retrieving it. We already bought you one. Sometimes when your parents say no, they have good reasons you can't see. This was one of them."

Sigh.

He remains devestated this morning -- his Christmas ruined AND he feels incredible guilt AND he's furious with his mother!

She's not sure she made the right decision, but the deed is done. This whole mama thing isn't easy sometimes, is it?

35 comments:

smalltownmom said...

I recall a similar incident...but the child was much younger.

Congrats to the Matron on remaining calm.

Kelly said...

This is a great lesson. Perhaps in the future he will assume all parental refusals are just a cover up for a surprise and he will happily comply.

No? Is that a bit optimistic?

At any rate. This probably hurts you worse than it does him. Just like a spanking.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I think you did the right thing as well --- mostly because he needs to learn that sometimes there are reasons behind decisions that seem wrong.

On the other hand, I'd be tempted to let him do it after the tantrum -- because he'd be unlikely to get the e-bay one before Christmas -- and he'd be out the cash because he didn't listen to you.

sozzled said...

Applauding fr south mpls....seriously I think I would have lost my temper (I know I would have) and yelled it and then refused to gift it to him, or something equally immature. We have had lots of discussion with our now 13 year old about not making assumptions about your gifts, and to stop talking about the gifts that are too expensive to even consider. And really, 2 year olds seem soooo much easier in comparison to these teen years. sigh.

Memarie Lane said...

We had a similar incident, though Max is only 5 so the fallout wasn't too bad. He really wanted an Optimus Prime action figure he saw in the Toys R Us circular. I ordered it for him, and when the box came it was still sitting out when Max wandered into our room and saw it. He got very excited, until Brad told him that it was for his cousin Asher. He was very upset. We told him that Santa might bring him one too, and that seemed to be sufficient. He will be soooooo happy Christmas morning.

God, I am not looking forward to those puberty years. I remember what my brother was like! Scary!

Miss Grace said...

I hope he learned something from this, although it's surely hard right now. But why should he be furious with you?

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

You did the right thing and hopefully he learned a lesson, but why is he furious at you? Motherhood certainly can be a tough job sometimes. especially when your kinds get to be terrible teenagers. Are you sure he shouldn't be on stage just like Scarlett?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I think you did well. Really. No reason to let Scarlet & Merrick suffer.

On an unrelated note, $150 for scooping snow? Dang!

Maggie said...

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! A lesson he will definitely not soon forget! I think it was absolutely the right move on your part!

Erin said...

I think you did the right thing. It may be a difficult lesson for him, but one everyone needs at least once.

Rima said...

Oh, dear. That's no fun, all the way around.

Mrs. G. said...

The gravity of this lesson is worth it's weight in vocal suffering and sighs.

I would have done the same thing. And I bet you never have to do it again.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

What Mrs. G. said. (Second time I've left that comment today.)

Lynda said...

Nice job!

Jennifer said...

I think that was the perfect response.

You handled it much better than I would have.

Teenagers are one reason I'm okay with not being a mom.

Now I must go call my mother and apologize for being a beast when I was a teen.

Minnesota Matron said...

Thanks, dear friends! And this all made her feel better :-).

Six oclock. Friends with kids coming for dinner.

Stryker is STILL not talking to his mother !!

sh8un said...

What great lesson? He's a teenager and is doing his job being a jerk some times. As I am sure you know, there is a chemical imbalance in teenage brains. Don't hold your breath hoping he won't throw a temper tantrum next time you don't let him do what he wants, thinking he remembers this lesson. He won't remember, or he'll think that's a completely different situation. And as far as ruining the surprise, so what? I know we all want rituals and memories, but what difference does it make whether he gets his surprise now or on Christmas? Plus, you're all Buddhists, so consider it living in the moment. And to throw a little controversy your way, you just rewarded his bad behavior by giving him what he wants. Yeah, parenting is hard some times. And one more thing for you to consider. They just did a study and found out most kids don't remember what they asked for Christmas from the previous year or what they got. But they remember memories of activities with their family, e.g. making cookies, getting a tree, etc. You're a fine momma, don't worry about it.

Rachelle said...

Oh no!

Poor Matron! Poor Stryker!

I also think you did the right thing.

Ignore his grumpy attitude; if I recall correctly, when I did something kind of stupid as a teenager, I tended to keep my mouth shut for a few days, to try to keep my feet out of it.

Look at it this way; in twenty years, you and his wife are going to have a good laugh about What Stryker Did During Christmas of 08'.

Jen on the Edge said...

I'm with everyone else -- you did the right thing. And hopefully this will serve as a lesson for him too.

Daisy said...

It was a no-win situation. the kiddo made it happen with his insistance on taking action. If you'd let him buy it and then watched him open it on Christmas morning, he would have been crestfallen. Or furious. Take your pick.

Heather said...

I think that your response was great. He brought his own consequences upon himself.

Jenny Dagle said...

Oh, my! I can definitely see myself in this spot a few years from now. I bet I would have done the same thing, except not so calmly. Why must they do these things to us?

JCK said...

I, too, concur with Mrs. G.

Mothering is difficult. Yes.

You did the right thing.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Wow, well done. I am awed; it's so difficult for me to not lose my mind with my own children after keeping cool with other people's teenagers all day...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I'd put it in the category of cruel to be kind--you don't want him to grow up to be a jerk.

K. said...

What a sad story - I'm sorry, Matron. That was a rough day. But you did the only thing you really could do in that situation, and I - not really of the opinion that teenagers are evil or that you somehow rewarded his bad behavior in this situation - strongly believe that this will be one of those character building moments that we all dread but must bow humbly to their necessity when they appear. He'll survive it and he'll learn from it, and I'm sure your holiday will recover as well.

Happy holidays to you and your family!

justhay said...

Awww, poor Matron, poor Stryker, what a conundrum.
I remember the injustices, real and imagined, of teenage years. Unfortunately with all those hormones flying around, and emotions in a chaotic war with eachother, there is no right way to do things.
Roll on Boxing Day.
(Do Americans have Boxing Day?)

Ree said...

BTDT. It sucks, but sometimes, they're just ASKING for it.

thefirecat said...

To those still wondering why Stryker is mad at his mom......because he's a teenager and she's his mom.

Duh! :)

SCREAMING FOR CHOCOLATE said...

Wow. Reminds me of my baby girl as a teen. Her dad was a manipulator and she learned how to do it to him but just couldn't deal with me not being manipulated. It only served to make me more resolved to dig in and say no. Fun times.

Coco

Minnesota Matron said...

Lesson, learned. Yesterday, Stryker asked me what was going to happen to his gift. It old him we'd wrap it and put it under the tree. He was very grateful -- he thought I would NOT give him the present because of his harassment. And he said, "I think I learned a really hard lesson."

But yes-- sh8un-- chemical imbalance, to be sure!

alwayssomethin said...

Had the exact same incident last weekend over The Chronicle's of Narnia book set. Sometimes you just have to let them ruin it for themselves. At least you were at home, we were in a store when it transpired.

Jocelyn said...

It never is easy. I fear my calm confession would have also ended with, "And now that you've been such a butthead about the whole thing, I fully intend to donate it to Goodwill because the last thing a sucky attitude gets is what it wants."

I'm all about breaking the children, you see. If there aren't tears, it's not Christmas.

Julie said...

Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. I imagine this made an impression Stryker won't soon forget. Kudos for remaining so calm!

Kimberly said...

You did what you had to do. And I believe you taught him an important lesson in the process.

It ISN'T easy. ::sigh::